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Road crews out in full force in Obion County

Road crews out in full force in Obion County

Posted: Tuesday, December 16, 2008 9:05 pm
By: Chris Menees Messenger Staff Reporter

 By CHRIS MENEES Messenger Staff Reporter If Obion County Highway Superintendent Gary Lofton and Union City Public Works Director Stephen Ladd had wish lists today, warmer weather would likely be at the top. Both men reported that crews from their departments have been working steadily to clear county and city roadways in the wake of a messy mix of freezing rain, sleet and light snow that began late Monday afternoon and continued overnight. Lofton said early this morning that county roads were slick and graders were running steadily in an effort to clear the ice from them. “All the plows and graders are running trying to get the ice off. It’s not doing a lot of good but we’re trying,” he said. “What we’re needing is some warmer weather.” Lofton said crews from the Obion County Highway Depart-ment went out early this morning after the precipitation stopped, but they couldn’t spread rock chips on the roads in the early-morning hours because the sleet was too deep. He said as soon as the roadways are graded, crews can spread some rock chips. Ladd said Union City Public Works crews ran two salt trucks Monday afternoon and into the middle of the night. This morning, two salt trucks with blades on their fronts were out putting down salt and plowing the streets. He said all of Union City’s major intersections and any heavily-traveled areas — such as those around plant entrances, schools, the hospital, the courthouse and the downtown area — were salted Monday night. “We’re out doing the same thing this morning,” Ladd told The Messenger shortly before 8 a.m. today. “Hopefully, we’re going to get a little bit of warm weather maybe tomorrow.” Ladd said he would rather people stay home today, if possible, and he urged extreme caution for anyone who must drive in the wintry conditions. Traffic was light in Union City this morning and no significant problems were reported by either the Union City Police Department or the Obion County Sheriff’s Department, other than one vehicle that had run into a ditch at mid-morning in Union City. A multi-vehicle accident that resulted in a couple of injuries and snarled traffic occurred Monday night on Reelfoot Avenue in Union City, but the accident report was not available from police at press time this morning. Schools in the Obion County and Union City school systems, as well as those in surrounding counties, were closed today. The winter storm caused outages to about 600 Gibson Electric Membership Corp. customer-owners in and around Rutherford and Yorkville Monday night, plus another 600 customer-owners in the Frog Jump, Edison, Brazil and Gibson Wells communities this morning. No outages were reported in Obion County at press time today. Rita Alexander, vice president of human resources and communications for Gibson EMC, said the outage in the Rutherford and Yorkville areas began at 9:41 p.m. Monday and power was restored to about 160 customer-owners at 10:25 p.m. Crews were continuing to work late Monday night and hoped to have power restored to the remaining customer-owners within an hour. This morning’s outage in the Frog Jump, Edison, Brazil and Gibson Wells communities began around 6:45 a.m. when a line snapped. Crews responded immediately and service was restored to all but about 20 customers within 30 minutes. Service was restored to everyone by 8:05 a.m., according to Ms. Alexander. A winter weather advisory was in effect until noon today and a chance of freezing rain and sleet remained in the forecast for this afternoon, with new ice accumulation of less than a quarter-inch and little, if any, new sleet accumulation. Highs were expected to reach only the upper 20s. Tonight’s forecast calls for cloudy skies and a 30 percent chance of freezing rain or sleet and Wednesday’s forecast includes a slight chance of freezing rain or sleet early in the morning, then a slight chance of rain in the late morning and afternoon. Staff Reporter Chris Menees may be contacted by e-mail at cmenees@ucmessenger.com. Published in The Messenger 12.16,.08

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